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POLE

Progressive Electronic • France


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Pole biography
PÔLE is the brainchild of a French electronic musician and producer, Paul Putti. In 1975, Putti started a record label Pôle Records together with his wife, Evelyne Henri. The label's first release was a collective album recorded by Putti and his friends. It was named 'Kotrill' and it came out under the very name PÔLE. This work brings to mind krautrock sounds of Conrad Schnitzler and Cluster. The second album - 'Inside the Dream' - released the same year, presents a more melodic and varied approach, not far from what Heldon and Tangerine Dream have been up to at the time, due to its extensive use of swirling ARP 2600 synthesizers. One can also hear elements of acid-drenched folk. Pôle Records released several interesting French underground albums, most notably Potemkine's 'Foetus', but in 1977 the label sadly ceased to exist.

The name 'Pôle' can also be found in other places, for example as a title of Philippe Besombes' and Jean-Louis Rizet's joint album released on the label or on the cover of Henri Roger?s 'Images ...'. As Discogs says: 'One way to look at Pôle is as a project concept along the lines of a Hector Zazou project, or Hal Wilner or Bill Laswell hooking up players for a specific release, and the label as based around a loose unofficial collective of musicians who helped each other out and recorded various projects for the short-lived label.'

The band's popularity has raised with the appearance on the Nurse With Wound list, compiled by Steven Stapleton, and with the advent of the internet. PÔLE's two little-known albums should please enthusiasts of German electronic music of the 70's.

Written by ALotOfBottle

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POLE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

POLE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.81 | 2 ratings
Kotrill
1975
4.86 | 2 ratings
Inside The Dream
1975

POLE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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POLE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Kotrill by POLE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.81 | 2 ratings

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Kotrill
Pole Progressive Electronic

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

5 stars The obscure act PÔLE which originated in the avant-garde underground of 1975 Paris, France is much more than a mere experimental act that released a mere two albums and then disappeared into the netherworld only to leave scant traces of its very existence. On the contrary the PÔLE appellation is synonymous in the underground world of avant-garde noise music as the epitome of far out and alien soundscapes. The name in fact belongs to the record label that released a handful of wide ranging genre LPs of different artists from 1975-77 and then disappeared without a trace. The label was founded by Paul Putti with his wife Evelyne Henri who would sign up some of the strangest left field acts of the day and even engaged in the most unorthodox salesmanship antics of pitching them door-to-door. The very first of these groups on the label would be Putti's own musical creation which despite the confusion was also named PÔLE. As a label, Putti would go on to release several albums from 15 different artists but as an experiment artist collective they would only release a mere two LPs that would both come out in 1975 with KOTRILL being the first and much more experimental of the two. PÔLE wasn't really a group per se but rather a collection of tracks with different experimental sound artists participating randomly throughout the two albums. To make things somewhat more confusing a so- called third album was released in 1975 (although with Putti, i'm not sure i subscribe to the logic) under the Besombes-Rizet moniker and guess what the album title was. Yep, it was PÔLE of course!

"Kotrill" (16:35) begins with a sputtering electronic sound rhythmically upping the tempo as counterpoints of electronically induced sputterings join in and drop out to create a free flowing river of synthesized sounds that meander on to infinity. The pitch is tense and gradually changes higher and lower as the percussive spastic drip sounds drop in and out randomly. The back masking of vocals eventually joins in as the dissonant electronic callithump parade strolls down free improv alley. The gist of this piece is that one element dominates while the others slightly change it up around it. As one drops out, the other becomes the leader. After a while a synthesized "free fall" sounds like it jumps out of an airplane for a while before it's joined by a jittery hyperactive "typewriter" sounding electronic percussive attack. All of these different elements take turns entering the scene and then dropping out. This title track is a very effective alien sounding track that offers hidden patterns embedded within but totally out of the context of anything remotely melodic. Despite the absence of melodies, the rhythmic drive becomes quite pronounced by the end of the track practically obliterating the cosmic electronica swooshiness in the background.

"Osiris" (3:30) is the "little" track stuck between the two lengthy behemoths. This one begins with what sounds like a theremin raising and lowering pitches with a percussive monastery type gong or something of the sort creating a background soundscape while whizzing electronica buzz around like angry hornets coming and going as randomly as pollinating honeybees in a blooming springtime meadow. As the percussion drops out the electronic buzzings start to talk to each other and create unnerving tension that ends sounding like a UFO just abducted someone and hyperspaced out of the galaxy.

"Villin Gen" (20:52) is the second sprawling track that begins with an unnerving drone sound that sustains one note before a second note joins it and sustains longer than expected. An unexpected melody slowly unfurls reminding of a very chilled out "Saucerful Of Secrets." The background ambience sounds like a UFO hovering in the distance just close enough to feel the uncertainty of its nebulous intentions. As the track continues the simple organ notes become entrancing with only a faint heartbeat type of percussion in the background. The UFO flying sounds also take a back seat but never really leave and change pitch and tempo and sometimes even drop out. In the middle it becomes more drone induced with water dripping. As the heartbeat loop continues on, the track slowly unwinds and fades out. This one is the most minimalist of the three tracks and the most hypnotizing as it sprawls on.

KOTRILL sounds like no other album and rightfully earned a place on the tripper's Holy Bible of experimental music "Nurse With Wound List." While it could be compared to early electronic pioneers like Finland's The Sperm or the more experimental freak outs of Can on Tago Mago, those are only the closest approximations. PÔLE was fairly ahead of its time for electronic music and created soundscapes totally unlike anything the Berlin School scene or other free form experimentation of the day were releasing. It wouldn't be until the 80s and 90s that other electronic acts would catch up and create equally alienating soundscapes utterly divorced from convention. Unfortunately the two PÔLE albums along with the entire catalogue of the label were only released on vinyl LP. Although there was a second pressing by the Tapioca label, these albums remain some of the most mysterious and obscure of what the 70s had to offer and easily go for hundreds of dollars. Needless to say they are in dire need of being rediscovered and re-released for a new era. I find this type of free form noise mixed with scant musical elements to be a very difficult tightrope act to accomplish. As with all minimalism, it takes a heavy dose of restraint to prevent a total derailment of connection and with KOTRILL there is a perfect flow of elements that align in the exact right places. I'm simply enthralled with KOTRILL like i am with scant few other albums of this sort. Someone PLEASE re-release this! It needs rediscovery! This one is only for the most adventurous seekers of all things lysergic ;)

 Inside The Dream by POLE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.86 | 2 ratings

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Inside The Dream
Pole Progressive Electronic

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

5 stars After setting up his PÔLE record label, Paul Putti released his first album "Kotrill" as an artist collective also called PÔLE. His second release INSIDE THE DREAM once again featured Putti on synthesizers but a new cast of members was included and therefore a completely different sound and feel are present with little resemblance between the two LPs. While both albums are steeped in subtle creeping synth-laden soundscapes with alienating counterpoints in sound experimentation, INSIDE THE DREAM is the much more accessible of the two releases and expands the instrumentation beyond the electronica and adds acoustic guitar, bass and even electric lead guitar. Like "Kotrill" there are two long sprawling tracks that cover most of the album and one other that is dwarfed in their wake. While Putti is once again the leader on INSIDE THE DREAM, he is joined by Jean-Louis Rizet and although i'm not sold in the actual classification of a third album supposedly carried to torch to create a 3rd PÔLE album under the Besomebes- Rizet moniker. And just to make it all the more confusing released an album titled PÔLE! Now how's that for avant-garde?

"Inside The Dream" (25:00) begins with an acoustic guitar softly strumming pleasant folky chord progressions with a little chirping in the background and as the guitar slowly fades into prominence a little synthesized atmosphere begins peeking through the folk- laden soundscape and then something completely absent from "Kotrill" emerges - vocals! While the acoustic folk melody loops around the key chord structures an oscillating electronic sound vigorously vibrates behind it before exiting the picture. Another different melodic synth line takes its place. After a while the hypnotic acoustic begins to bring early Pink Floyd to mind with the soft sensual psychedelic folk of tracks like "If" from Atom Heart Mother. While one would think that the repetitive nature of the undulating folk would become stagnate, the subtle electronic effects keep things changing up just enough to keep the whole thing flowing and then about half way through the acoustic guitar takes a back seat and avant-garde electronic oscillations sound like interdimensional beings reprogramming the space-time continuum to insert secret messages from the other side. After they subside the acoustic guitar chord sequences shift gear. After a while the guitar and electronica trade off in free form style in completely unpredictable ways. Toward the end a percussive drive emerges as a glissando guitar sliding action takes over. A bass also joins the party making this a full-fledged melody! Welcome to tripper's paradise!

"Outside The Nightmare" (15:00) takes a completely different approach and begins with a pulsating electronic sound that cedes to a less structured buzzing sound. Get the folk outa here and let the freakery unfurl! This one is much more free form but the certain aspects continue to peek in and out of the random parade of sound. As the track progresses more layers of sound pile up creating a smorgasbord tapestry of electronic embellishments. While a drone layer slowly changes its pitch, a more percussive drive drips forth and swooshing effects sweep around like a random plastic bag circling the city streets on a windy day occasionally becoming trapped in sonic eddies. A slightly X-files type of alien music creeps in with tinkling keys that truly sound totally out there. This is exactly the type of music i imagine when i think of ETs making contact and taking us to their galactic jukebox for their chill time! As if all those freakery weren't enough, it continues with what sounds like psychedelic sirens engaged in a choir of shrill utterings juxtaposed into alien musical scales. This is certainly one of the weirdest and most satisfying electronic experiments i've ever heard although this one does bring Berlin School tripsters Klaus Schulze, Cluster or Tangerine Dream to mind although in their most adventurous undertakings!

"In The Maelstrom" (5:00) is more a rhythmic affair that has a steady Krautrock beat as heard from Kraftwerk or Neu! although the synthesizers are layered to create a dense tapestry of counterpoint melodies. The sounds are dark and brooding but deliver a steady rhythmic drive with key changes in the melody at regular intervals.

While INSIDE THE DREAM is not nearly as alienating or shocking as "Kotrill" it is also a perfectly paced album. Generally speaking, the two PÔLE albums will appeal to two different spectrums of the adventurous music seekers. "Kotrill" will thrill lovers of chaos, noise, free form and the utterly alienating whereas INSIDE THE DREAM will please those who love the progressive electronic sound when accompanied by some sort of traditional music structure. This one is much more based in melodic developments and never strays far from steady percussive drives. Personally i find both sides of the spectrum equally exhilarating and i cannot find one flaw in either of the PÔLE albums. To me they released the perfect pair of super cool experimental music and look forward to the day when they finally get the attention they deserve and are re-released for a new modern world of tripsters.

Thanks to rivertree for the artist addition.

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